Looking Beneath the Surface

Category: On Demand

Member Price: $188

Non-Member Price: $235

Product Code: ON133623

Areas of Law: Diversity

CLE Credits
NJ CLE:NJ CLE information: This program has been approved by the Board on Continuing Legal Education of the Supreme Court of New Jersey for 2.4 hours of total CLE credit, including 2.4 in Diversity (Full Credits Available: NJ Beginner Diversity : 2.4).
NY CLE (t&nt):NY Diversity Non-Transitional: 2.0
PA CLE:PA Ethics Credit: 2.0
New: No PACLE fee is required for this program. To earn PA CLE credits, a valid PA Bar ID number must be entered into the CLE form provided after attending the program.



Valerie A. Jackson, Esq.
Minorities in the Profession Section, NJSBA
Diversity Officer & Legal Liaison, Department of the Treasury, Trenton
Valerie Jackson is the Diversity Officer and Legal Liaison at the New Jersey Department of the Treasury - Division of Administration.
nPrior to her current role, Valerie was a Deputy Public Defender and Managing Attorney of the Office of the Public Defender (OPD), Office of Parental Representation, Central Region Office, in North Brunswick, New Jersey. Upon joining the OPD in 2009 she quickly earned a reputation as a zealous advocate and skilled litigator. In 2012, Ms. Jackson was promoted by the Public Defender to her current role as Managing Attorney and in 2020 was promoted to the title of Deputy Public Defender. Prior to joining the OPD, she was a solo practitioner in Middlesex County, where she focused in family law, education law and real estate.
nAdmitted to practice in New Jersey, Ms. Jackson is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association, and has served on the Association’s Board of Trustees, Diversity Committee and Child Welfare Law Section. She has also served as a Trustee for both the Middlesex County Bar Association and Foundation, and has been Co-Chair of the Association’s Board for the Advancement of Racial Equity and Social Justice. Ms. Jackson has been a member of the Association of Black Women Lawyers, the Garden State Bar Association, the Middlesex County Vicinage Committee on Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, and the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Court’s Children in Court Race Equity Leadership Team. She has served on the OPD training faculty; where she has trained attorneys on many topics related to ethics, professionalism and trial advocacy for defense attorneys.
nMs. Jackson received her B.A. from Rutgers University, her M.A. in Journalism from New York University and her J.D. from Rutgers Law School.


Raymond M. Brown, Esq.
Civil and Criminal Litigator
Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, Hackensack
is a Partner in Pashman Stein Walder Hayden with offices in Hackensack and Holmdel, New Jersey, and Purchase, New York. A highly-respected civil and criminal litigator, he concentrates his practice in white collar criminal defense, international human rights compliance, internal investigations and complex commercial litigation, and has appeared in high-profile trials including the nine-month trial involving former Labor Secretary Raymond J. Donovan and the successful eight-year defense of senior executives of a major multinational corporation charged with environmental violations, as well as serving as Defense Co-Counsel for Senator Robert Menendez against criminal allegations of public corruption and bribery brought by the U.S. government.
nAdmitted to practice in New Jersey and New York, and before the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the United States Supreme Court, Mr. Brown is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, and a member and Past President of the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey. He is also a member of the American Bar Association Sections of Criminal Justice and International Law, and the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Criminal Law Section and Task Force on Judicial Independence. He has been a Trustee of the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey and is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, where he is a former Board Member and Parliamentarian.
nHost of the Emmy Award-winning New Jersey Network program Due Process, Mr. Brown has been a Visiting Professor and Research Scholar at Seton Hall University School of Law, where he has taught international criminal law, criminal procedure and professional responsibility. He has also taught international criminal law at the Seton Hall/American University Program in Cairo, Egypt, and at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations. Mr. Brown is the recipient of the Litigation Counsel of America’s Peter Perlman Service Award and the (inaugural) 2018 Francis X. Dee Award bestowed by the American College of Trial Lawyers, as well as a 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Essex County Bar Association and several other honors. His articles have appeared in the New Jersey Law Journal and other professional publications, and he has lectured for ICLE, the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Professional Education Group and other organizations.
nMr. Brown received his B.A. from Columbia University and his J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley.
Jeyanthi C. Rajaraman, Esq.
Jeyanthi C Rajaraman, Esq., Hoboken
Sylvia Thomas
LSNJ, Edison

Presented in cooperation with the NJSBA Diversity Standing Committee and the NJSBA Racial Equity in the Law Special Committee

This program will examine how attorneys can identify and disrupt implicit poverty and race bias in the justice system.

The historical association of poverty with race and class in our justice system has produced a cadre of systemic inequities. In addition, implicit and explicit biases related to race and poverty impact the decisions made at every phase of the criminal, juvenile and child welfare process. As the wealth gap gets larger, and more individuals deal with economic, food and housing insecurity, we have an obligation to look more critically at the impact of poverty on our justice system and learn strategies to disrupt our own poverty and race biases in our daily work.


Topics include:

  • Defining the issues – recognizing the correlation between racism and the cycle of poverty
  • Providing a brief historical overview of systemic racism from slavery to Jim Crow to implicit bias today
  • Examining the impact of historical redlining on the racial wealth gap, and housing disparities in communities of color
  • Explaining True Poverty. What is it and what it really looks like in NJ
  • Discussing the impact of systemic bias in child welfare/family regulation system
  • Sharing Perspectives on poverty, race and caste in the aftermath of SCOTUS's recent decision in SFFA v Harvard
    • What does legacy and access have to do with it?
    • Responding to the meaning and myth of colorblindness
    • Challenging the elimination of race as a concept in our jurisprudence
  • Providing Useful Takeaways- what attorneys can do to recognize and disrupt implicit poverty and race bias in the justice system


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